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Land and Ecosystem Degradation and Desertification: Assessing the Fit of Responses (LEDDRA)

Land and Ecosystem Degradation and Desertification: Assessing the Fit of Responses (LEDDRA)

The Ecologic Institute is a part of LEDDRA consortium. Launched in April 2010, the project will add new and will refine existing scientific and policy-relevant knowledge, especially within a cross-national context in the perspective of elaborating scientifically sound practices and informed policies to combat land and ecosystem degradation and desertification. A brochure was published that represents the LEDDRA philosophy, approach, objectives, methodology, case study sites and partners and can be downloaded.

The research project LEDDRA deals with the socio-environmental fit of responses to land and ecosystem degradation and desertification (LEDD). It aspires to generate new knowledge on the theory of responses to LEDD, integrated methodologies to assess the fit of responses, and carries out applications adapting the ecosystem approach, and suitable policy guidance of future interventions. In this way, LEDDRA will provide support to sustainable land management and to responsive policy making at national, EU and international level. The Ecologic Institute analyses the policy context and develops policy recommendations as regards diverse responses to LEDD and response assemblages at the different spatial levels. 


Land and ecosystem degradation and desertification are complex socio-environmental phenomena caused by the multifaceted interplay of biophysical and societal forces on and across spatial levels. Various types of measures are undertaken in response to these phenomena seeking to address both the land and ecosystem related problems and a range of societal concerns.


LEDDRA focuses on response assemblages, the associated costs and benefits to diverse stakeholders, barriers to and opportunities for adoption, and knowledge transfer processes. It improves existing and develops new integrated methodologies for a) assessing the impacts and fit of various types of responses to LEDD, b) the socio-ecological vulnerability of affected regions, and c) for identifying response assemblages in different European and other cultural-institutional contexts drawing on applications in selected sites in EU and the International Cooperation Partner Countries (ICPC). Selected case studies will focus in particular on responses to LEDD in cropland, grazing land and forest/shrubland.

The Ecologic Institute leads the Policy work package and analyses the policy context, assesses effectiveness of selected policy measures with respect to land and ecosystem degradation and desertification and develops recommendations for policy and land management actions at the international, EU and national levels drawing on the theoretical and applied research results. As a part of this work package, the Ecologic Institute will conceptualize and organize the stakeholder consultation process including interviews with key respondents, elite interviews, questionnaire surveys; stakeholder workshops and dialogues as well as the final policy conference.

The following case studies are available for download:

  •     Messara Valey & Surroundings (Greece)
  •     Alento River Basin (Italy)
  •     Zhang Jiachong area (Zi Gui County, Yi Chang City, Hu Bei Province-China)
  •     Jucar river watershed (Spain)
  •     Western Andevalo (Sanlucar de Guadiana area, Spain)
  •     Huel Baixo Guadiana (Mertolaand Alentejo (Spain-Portugal)
  •     Sobrabe Area (Huesca Province, Aragon)
  •     Timhdit area (Land of the Ait Beni Yakoub tribe-Middle Atlas)
  •     Asterousia Mountains, Crete (Greece)
  •     Matera Prefecture (Mediterranean Coastal & Upland study site, Italy).

More information can be found on the LEDDRA website.

Further Links:

European Commission, Directorate–General Research (DG Research)
April 2010 to March 2014
Project ID
Land ecosystem degradation, desertification, socio-environmental fit, sustainable land management, ecosystem approach, cropland, grazing land, forests/shrubland, climate change, water, biodiversity, socio-economic analysis, Greece, the Netherlands, UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, China, Morocco